Britain’s most spectacular Bonfire Night celebrations

Burning barrels, flaming effigies and spellbinding processions are on the way

Remember, remember the fifth of November, as the folk rhyme goes – and these days Bonfire Night celebrations across the country are more memorable than ever. Here’s a selection of some of our favourites…

Lewes, Sussex

Lewes Bonfire Night (Sad Sack Photography)

This small town near Brighton has become famous for its Guy Fawkes Night celebrations. More than 60,000 visitors descend to witness the burning of effigies of topical figures, marching bands and five parades. There are also ‘barrel run’ races in which competitors pulls flaming tar barrels down the high street.  This year’s celebration is being held on November 4 and to watch one of the firework displays up close a ‘fire site’ ticket must be purchased in advance. For more information, go here.

Ottery St Mary, Devon

Flaming tar barrels in Ottery (Getty)

More flaming tar barrels will be on display at Ottery St Mary’s Bonfire Night festivities. Pubs in the centre of Ottery each sponsor a single barrel. Once the barrels are lit outside the pubs, they are hoisted up onto local people’s backs and shoulders. All in all, 17 barrels are set alight and carried through the streets of the town. If the thought of getting up close to the flames doesn’t terrify you, then take a look the further information here. This year’s event takes place on November 4.

Edenbridge, Kent

Members of various bonfire societies take part in the torch lit procession through the streets of Edenbridge (Getty)

Each year, since 1928, Edenbridge’s bonfire committee has put on a firework display and procession for the public, but this Bonfire Night celebration is best known for its effigies. Last year, Donald Trump was the ‘celebrity guy’ selected for the fire. For more information about this event, which takes place on November 4, go here.

Battle, Sussex

Last year in Battle (www.battelbonfire.co.uk)

The town of Battle celebrates Bonfire Night in style. And this year’s Battel Bonfire Night, on November 4, will include a funfair, fancy dress and a competition to build the best Guy, with the winning effigy being set alight on the bonfire. All the information you need is here.

Midsummer Common, Cambridge

Fireworks go off in Cambridge (Cambridge Live Trust/Flickr)

The Bonfire Night party (November 4) is a fantastic family occasion, with a spectacular firework display and huge bonfire, accompanied by a funfair to keep the kids entertained throughout the evening. Find out more here.

Skinningrove Bonfire, Yorkshire

A Skinningrove bonfire (Getty)

This centrepiece of this coastal village’s Bonfire Night celebrations is always a huge wooden structure being set alight by the sea front. Each year’s there’s a different theme – previous models have been of fishing boats and castles. This year’s theme is pigeons, a nod to the area’s pigeon fancying heritage. Like many of the other Bonfire Night parties, this one will take place on November 4. Find out more here.

Lord Mayor’s Show, London

Fireworks by the river (Getty)

This firework extravaganza happens a little after Bonfire Night, but is still very much worth a visit. On November 11 at 5.15pm there will be a jaw-dropping firework display along the Thames in central London to mark the end of the Lord Mayor’s Show and the beginning of a new mayoral year. Best views will be between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges, either on Victoria Embankment or on the South Bank. For more information, go here.


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